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Thursday, January 24, 2019

Louisville women's basketball -- Knocking Off Noles next mission -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


The University of Louisville women's basketball squad is in Florida this morning. Tallahassee, to be more specific, to play their seventh game of their ACC slate and 19th game of the season. A top 25 matchup on tap, FSU at 16-2 and 4-1 in the ACC The Cards are #4 in the nation, the Seminoles #22. 

Why, the Noles are even handing out free hot dogs to entice fans to attend the contest! (If Joey Chestnut shows up, they could be in serious trouble). The "Tuck" holds 11,500 people. That's a lot of buns and wieners...but in reality, anything over 5,000 in house tonight would be a surprise, in my humble opinion.  

When one thinks of nemesis schools...those schools that seem to have the Cards WBB squads "number"...obviously Connecticut come to mind, with the 1-17 mark against the Huskies. Maybe you think of Notre Dame, they're 14-6 all time against Louisville. 

Add Florida State to that list. 

In series history, FSU is 16-13 against the Cards. In the Jeff Walz era, they hold a 4-3 edge over Red and Black. They have won three of the last four contest against Louisville...including the 50-49 win at the YUM! that broke up the Cards "perfect" season last year. Prior to the Walz era, the Noles had a 10-game win steak over Louisville, going back to 1988.  

When FSU lost Chatrice White, Shakayla Thomas, Ama Degebon, Imani Wright and A.J Alix to graduation at the end of last year...a season that ended ingloriously and surprisingly for Chief Osceola's bunch with a loss to #13 seed Buffalo in the second round in Tallahassee...the departure of these stalwarts seemed to bode well for the Cards in the 2018-19 season. Sure, the Noles had a few talented reserves coming back, but how seriously can you take a team that has lost all their starters? 

Sue placing an order for a dog or two?
Guess what? Sue "Sem-a-nole" Semrau is back with five new starters and FSU is wreaking havoc on the ACC and other foes again without missing a beat. "Say hello to our little friends" Kiah Gillespie, Nicki Ekhomu, Nausia Wollfolk, Valencia Myers and Kourtney Weber. They are a combination of freshmen, reserves from 2017-18 and transfers. 

Gillespie, the transfer from Maryland and now a red-shirt junior, is the apparent ring leader of this northern Florida mob.  18 points per game and the leading three-point shooter of the tribe.  Ekhomu (14.3 ppg) and Wollfork (11.8 ppg) are juniors who saw plenty of action last year...bookend 5'9" guards who are an integral part of a defense that allows just 57.2 points a night. Myers, a freshman is almost a double digit performer at 9.4 points a contest. Weber is the third guard on the roster and this freshman splits time with Savannah Wilkinson, a sophomore from London England that shot 43.3% from three-point range last year off the bench but hasn't zeroed from the deep yet in 2018-19 with just a 4-29 (14%) accuracy.

It is "homecoming" night for Cardinal junior Jazmine Jones, who played her high school ball in the shadow of the campus at FAMU DRS. Jones will have a contingent in the stands, with up to 60 friends and family, providing she can get tickets for them all. 

Jones chose the Cards over the Noles, Ohio State, Baylor and others and is excited to be playing, most likely for the final time, in front of her homemade cheering section. Let's hope "J.J. Airlines" is in full flight tonight. You would expect Asia Durr will have a contingent in the Donald F. Tucker Center tonight as well...with the drive from the Atlanta area to FSU around just four hours. 

I put up a nice read about the return of Jaz at the link below.

LINK: The Return of J.J.

Rebounding has been kind to FSU in 2018-19. They average 39.8 a night and have a + 7.4 edge in the stat over opponents. The Cards average 36.1 a game and actually hold a +0.8 edge over foes this year. In the ACC, Louisville is last in rebounding offense and ranked eighth in rebounding defense. Florida State checks in at second in rebounding defense and 10th in rebounding offense. 

what's the chances of sneaking
this onto court tonight? 
Maybe too much focus is being placed on rebounding. After all, at 17-1, rebounding hasn't plunged the Cards into the depths of the icy Ohio River yet. Coach Walz will tell you that he and the coaches have been working with the squad in terms of "going to get the basketball". Some of the things that the team will want to work on tonight is slowing down the defensive transition of the Noles, an area where they are very effective. Keeping FSU off the free throw line will be an objective -- they shoot 73% from the charity stripe.

The Cards need a better start for Asia and Sam than we saw against Wake Forest and if the "Ville" can keep the turnovers low and win the "second chance" stat, it'll increase UofL's chance of winning dramatically. These two school are very similar in players, FSU seems to be more comfortable with a lower scoring game but maybe not the kind the Cards are capable of producing, Louisville's last three opponents have failed to reach 50 points. Louisville held FSU to 50 last year but that was two points short of gaining the win. 

The contest is on the Raycom Sports Network, which means in our area Fox Sports South will most likely be showing the event. Cards Radio 790 WKRD is always a good choice for the game, with Nick and AJ, and you can avoid the probable home-team bias of the screen talking heads.

Will Coach Sam P. get a chance to practice his new
"get back" role tonight? 
It's rare that the Louisville men's team plays on the same night as WBB, but Chris Mack's guys are hosting the N.C. State Wolf Pack tonight down at the YUM! At least the start times are different (the men tipping off at 8 p.m.). For those attending, I hope the KFC YUM! Center provides some screens showing the contest between Noles and Cards. 

So, it's payback time for Walz and company tonight. FSU's two losses have come at home (Clemson and LSU) The 'Noles have played one top 25 team this season prior to tonight, defeating then #12 Iowa 71-67 about two months ago. 

Normally, this would be a chance for Louisville WBB to shine in the Sunshine State tonight. The weather refuses to cooperate, though, with a high of 55 expected today in Tallahassee and temps hovering around the mid-40's at game time. We're hoping the chilling climate extends to FSU shooting tonight and the Cards can thaw out to put the Seminoles in the deep freezer. Hey, the temps in Tallahassee are a heat wave for Cardinal players, compared to what they've been experiencing in the Derby City. 

We'll have the full recap here tomorrow. Jared Anderson will bring the goods. His g/f Katy is a student at FSU. Purported attempts to dress her in Red and Black for tonight contest have been a fail.

He can't even get her in Red and Black when she visits the 'Ville. 

I wish we had the budget to send our intrepid photographer down for the game, but, knowing Katie...she'd find a way to get him in Garnet and Gold for the ensuing battle. As Huey Lewis and the News sang..."The Power of Love is a curious thing. Make one man weep and another man sing." Remember that epic song? It's linked up below: 


Have a terrific Thursday and let's hope the Cards get some "love" down at FSU tonight...



  1. Sadly Katy will miss tonight’s game due to her internship but I’m working on getting a “Go Cards” from her.

    The events at Cardinal Stadium predated me but sad to see a piece of Louisville history get demolished today.

    1. Had me a wealth of good memories over at the place that had "carpet over concrete" as a playing surface. Lately, though, I hear it's falling apart and that the state doesn't want to pour any money into renovation. Can't blame them, why would they?

      Fare the well, "old Cardinal Stadium" First time in there for me was 1961 to see a Louisville Colonels Baseball game. I don't remember going but I got a program that Pops saved. Last time was the epic Trinity vs. Male football game (Jeff Brohm vs. Michael Bush) back in 2002 for the state title. What an afternoon that was! There was a UofL home basketball game in Freedom Hall that day, also,and traffic was nuts. People were streaming in after the hoops game to watch the end of this epic football classic.

      I even saw the Doobie Brothers there in concert once! (Jared sez.."who"?) LOL. The two "Summer Jams" were classics also

      Just gotta let it go.


    2. Oops, make that Brian Brohm. LOL


  2. Cards have to control the issue tonight. Missed shots have to be corralled by our squad. Also, who is the ref crew?

    I hope for a hot shooting night for Louisville (less rebounds to have to worry about on the offensive glass) and let's see what spark "Mi Kasa es su casa" provides tonight.

    Curtis "Hoping WBB rolls the Noles tonight" Franklin

    1. Refs are Denise Brooks, Billy Smith and Daryl Humphrey (Daryl's a guy in this case, unlike The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour's Daryl Foust). Denise and Billy call strict games as a rule, not letting the teams "play without whistle interruption" so the Cards will have to be mindful of silly fouls. Daryl is from the Orlando area so you can bet he'll be calling in favor of the Noles.


    2. Billy and Daryl also call WNBA. I don't think Denise does anymore, after her bout with breast cancer.

      I can't stand this assigned crew tonight.

      Nick O.

  3. I did speak with David Watson last night. He's making the drive up from Bradenton today with his youngest daughter for the game. He couldn't talk Joe Hill in to going, Joe's headed for Gatlinburg Friday (driving it) and he wanted a good night's sleep before going.

    He'll try to check in with his thoughts on the contest in the Friday comments section. They're not staying "over" preferring to drive back after the game.


  4. Nothing like game day for me!
    Think we'll be okay as long as we "play like Louisville" this game. It'd be nice to see Asia get her shooting stroke back and go off for 30+, though!

  5. And wonder where they'll be having the free concerts during the KY State Fair now? If there will even be any more.

    1. My guess would be across the street at the new Cardinal Stadium or indoors at Freedom Hall, but the question is a good one. HAven't been to one in a while.


  6. Good Evening Cards Nation a big shout out to Bionca Dunham home town girl she's playing really good defense.
    Go Card's beat FSU.

    1. Mission accomplished ! One of the several who took the fight to the boards. Good job "B" !!!


  7. Read that article on J.J. good write up, but what’s up with paper calling U of L “not quite elite”? I would argue that Louisville is one of the elite programs in women’s colleges basketball.

    1. I caught that also, and say the same. Louisville = elite program.


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